Every Book I’ve read in January

Every Book I’ve read in January

Hello my wonderful bookworms! It feels like it was just yesterday that we were enjoying Christmas Dinner and complaining about another year ruined by COVID and now January has already come to an end. Can we please make time slow down? How am I ever going to get through my TBR before I die? Okay, let’s not go there. January is already depressing enough.

Anyway, January has been a good reading month for me. I set a goal for 75 books this year and I’m already slightly ahead. I like to be a little bit ahead so that I don’t have to stress about finding the time to read. I’ve read a total of 9 books in January and these are all of them:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My very first book of the year. A young shepherd goes looking for a treasure and his purpose in life. Short, sweet and a little disappointing at times. The writing was just fine, but I just didn’t always agree with the themes. Also, I really disliked the ending. Literally any ending would’ve been better. The book kind of gets you thinking, but since I didn’t much agree with the themes, I didn’t take much away from it. If you have this on your TBR, you can leave it there, for it is interesting and relatively short and easy to read, but don’t move it up on my account. If the themes speak to you, read it. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time. It counts towards your reading goal, though..

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Heartbreaking, intriguing at times, but also very slow and occasionally dull. I liked, but not loved, this book. It peaks very early and I kept waiting for more, but it didn’t really come. Parts of the story were really heartbreaking and I noticed myself holding my breath while reading those, but most of the time I was just struggling through, waiting for something to happen. I linked a full review in the title and down below, including a summary of the story.

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #3

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The third part of the Trials of Apollo series, where the Greek God Apollo is punished by Zeus and sent to earth in the body of a mortal. Apollo is now 16-year-old Lester Papadopoulos, complete with acne and love handles. He is to stay on earth with 12-year-old Meg McCaffrey as his master until he has fulfilled his punishment. The books are set in the same world as Percy Jackson, so there are a lot of familiar faces.

I read the first two books in the series last year and since I made a New Year’s Resolution to finally finish some of the series I’ve started, I figured I’d start with this one. In The Burning Maze, Meg, Apollo and Rover (yes, Rover from the Percy Jackson series) have to find their way through the Labyrinth to rescue the next oracle in order to stop the emperors from taking over the world.

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #4

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The fourth book in the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan. Meg and Apollo set off from Camp Halfblood to Camp Jupiter, in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Camp Jupiter is the home of demigods that descend from the Roman Gods. The camp will be under attack soon and Apollo needs to find a way to defeat their enemies. That’s as much as I can say without spoiling anything. I loved this book. That’s all I will say.

Chess for Dummies by James Eade

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I started reading this Ebook AGES ago when I started to play chess with my boyfriend. I was a terrible chess player and he is actually pretty good, so I wanted to get on his level (or at least nearer to his level) so it would actually be fun for both parties. So I decided to do what I do best: read! Well, I owe mister Eade a great big thanks, because shortly after I finished this book, I won my very first chess game from my boyfriend, something I had never deemed possible. All kidding aside, the Dummies series is actually an amazing series to get into a certain subject with no prior knowledge. The book stays on the surface, but it gives you that push that gets you on a certain level. From there you can decide if you want to learn more. Chess for Dummies was very helpful to me! Now on to grand-mastery!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really hope I don’t need to explain the plot to you anymore. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in January for my Rereading Harry Potter series of posts that will continue throughout the next couple of months. I absolutely loved rereading it. There were so many details that I had completely forgotten about and I loved meeting familiar characters for the first time again. It was just perfect. I linked the whole Rereading Harry Potter series so far in the book title. Check it out if you’re interested.

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The fifth and final part of the Trials of Apollo series. Weirdly enough, this was actually my least favourite of the three Trials of Apollo books that I read this month. I loved the final battle, which covers about half of the book, but the first half was a little annoying, if you ask me. Apollo and his companions go underground to look for the Troglodytes, a weird lizard-people who wear hats and eat other lizards, but also pretty much everything that moves. I guess the Troglodytes were amusing enough, but also a little too weird for me. The ending was epic, though, and a little emotional. Still definitely worth the read.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Without a doubt my favourite read for this month. Honestly, it was so much better than I had expected. I was a little afraid that it was overhyped when I read it, but it really isn’t. The story is completely fictional of course, but I hope with all my heart that one day we will have a female president and she will have a bisexual son who falls in love with the queer Prince of Wales. Until then, I will just have to keep rereading this book on repeat. Full review is coming somewhere in the next week. Stay tuned 😉

Elevation by Stephen King

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Definitely the winner of the most-disappointing-January-read award. I had such high hopes for my very first Stephen King book, but alas. It wasn’t meant to be. Elevation is short, which is why I picked it as my first Stephen King book, but perhaps a little TOO short and frankly, it seemed a little rushed. I linked the full review in the title and down below.

I’m currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Adhieh, The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane and of course Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Stay tuned for updates and reviews on those! As always, thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you soon with more reviews, book recommendations and Harry Potter reading updates!

The Alchemist review: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/2022/01/07/the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho/

The Comfort of Others review: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/2022/01/14/the-comfort-of-others-by-kay-langdale/

Rereading Harry Potter: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/category/harry-potter/harry-potter-reread/

Elevation review: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/2022/02/01/elevation-by-stephen-king-book-review/

6 Amazing Books with LGBT-Characters

6 Amazing Books with LGBT-Characters

Hello my fellow bookworms and happy Wednesday! Welcome back for a list of 6 great reads with LGBT (main) characters. The books listed below are all books that I have read recently. I noticed that I’ve been coming across more and more LGBT-characters lately, which means that either the world is changing for the better, or I’m changing for the better (or both) that we can finally talk about gay relationships the way we talk about straight ones. I know we’re not there yet, but we’re (slowly) getting there. Let’s start with my current read and the inspiration for this post:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

I am LOVING this LGBT-romance. First son of the US holds a grudge against the Crown Prince of England. To avoid a rivalry between the two countries, they are forced to spend time together and pretend that they’re best friends. Only, you guessed it, they develop feelings for each other! I can’t tell you how it ends, because well, I haven’t finished it yet, but I’m loving the witty conversations, the teasing and the fact that it’s steamy without being uncomfortably graphic.

If you’re more into the girl/girl romance than the boy/boy romance (or you just need more LGBT romance, period), McQuinston has also written a novel about a girl who doesn’t believe in love, meeting a gorgeous old school punk rocker girl from the 1970s on the subway and deciding to help her crush return to her own time. I haven’t read it yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll make sure to write you a review.

The Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan

You may have guessed it, but the main character of this series is the god Apollo and I probably don’t have to tell you that the Ancient Greek didn’t exactly shy away from same-sex relationships. The fact that Apollo dated some men throughout his 4000 years is revisited quite a lot throughout the books. There are also plenty of queer demigods who have side roles in the story. Riordan does a good job incorporating LGBT-characters in his books without making a big deal about emphasising that they’re gay. It’s less “look at me being inclusive and creating gay characters!” and more, “yes I did say he has a boyfriend, why?”. Kudos for that, Rick.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you haven’t read this masterpiece yet, you might be surprised that a book named “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” ended up on a list with LGBT-books. Evelyn Hugo decides to tell her life story to a young woman who is asked to write her biography. The woman keeps asking her who Evelyn’s true love was. I hate to spoil anything, but the answer is not one of the Seven Husbands. I was in tears for most of this book. Evelyn Hugo is kind of a morally grey character, but she is so well-written that you can’t help loving her anyway.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

I had completely forgotten about the fact that the main characters of this book were gay until I found it on a list of LGBT-books. The two main characters, Rufus and Matteo, start out as friends and later in the book grow into something more. It’s an important theme in the book, but not the main one. Rufus and Matteo both get a call from the Death-cast that they are going to die within the next 24 hours. They meet through an app that matches “Deckers” with a buddy to spend their death day with. They decide to spend their last day together challenging each other to do the things they’ve always wanted to do. The whole concept of the book is beautiful, but also deeply disturbing and sad. I’m still not exactly sure how I feel about this book, but it’s definitely worth a read. It’s not your typical romance, though.

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

200 years after the tale of Cinderella took place, girls are still required to attend the annual ball to find a suitor and get married. Only, Sophia would much rather marry Erin. She tries to get Erin to run away with her so they can build a life together, but Erin refuses. Sophia flees from the ball alone and runs into Constance, who is the last descendent of one of Cinderella’s step sisters. They decide to take down the King together and free the people from his evil reign. And OF COURSE there is a love triangle between Erin, Sophia and Constance.

I loved this book with all my heart. It was my first fairytale retelling and I wasn’t too sure about it at first, but it turned out to be amazing, though a little predictable at times. I’ll make sure to post a review of this one in the near future. DEFINITELY worth a read.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

I feel like I talk about this book way too much and also not enough. I put a link to my review of this book in the title for a summary of the story. Addie falls in love with both men and women over her 300-year long existence. A few of her “relationships” are described in detail. She spends her days getting to know the same person over and over again, only to be forgotten again in the morning. It’s beautiful, it’s sad, no I’m not okay.

My 2022 TBR

My 2022 TBR

The last few days of 2021 went by SO fast, I hardly even had time to blink. It’s the dark magic of those final few days between Christmas and New Year’s where you’re not sure what day it is and you enter some kind of existential crisis that you don’t really snap out of until you’re a few days into the new year and you’re suddenly already behind on EVERYTHING. Well, it’s the 5th of January today and I’m suddenly behind on everything, like this post. Anyway, I was planning to get a jump on things and make sure my reading in 2022 isn’t endangered by a chaotic, rocky start. So I decided to make a list of some books I would really like to read in 2022 that have either been at the top of my TBR pile for months, have scared me because of their intimidating number of pages or books that are still relatively new and that I want to read before they lose their momentum. Even though I didn’t get a chance to finish this post before New Year’s (or in the few days after), I did actually have a flying start reading wise. So anyway, let’s get cracking. These are the books I hope to read in 2022:

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I bought this book a few weeks ago because I’ve been hearing so many good things about it. It’s much smaller than I’d thought, so it might be one of the first books I will read next year, to get that zero out of the way. (I wrote this before NYE and I can now tell you, this was indeed my first book of the year. Review coming soon.)

  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I have a new year’s resolution to pick up a few classics next year. This seems like a good classic to start overcoming my fear of classics, since it’s one of the shorter ones.

  • The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze(#3), The Tyrant’s Tomb (#4) and The Tower of Nero (#5) by Rick Riordan

I read the first two books in this series, The Hidden Oracle (#1) and The Dark Prophecy (#2) in early 2021. I absolutely loved these books, which is why I bought the rest of the series too. I just haven’t really gotten around to reading them, so I hope 2022 is the year I will finally learn to finish series I start!

  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King

Stephen King is one of those authors that I would really like to read, but that I’m very intimidated by, considering most of his books are so thick they could probably be used as a murder weapon. A while back I came across a summary of this book though and I was so curious I bought it immediately (it involves the murder of JFK, time travel and I think someone falls in love with a history teacher). It’s still over 700 pages, so wish me luck.

  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I read Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising in 2021. The first book was amazing, the second one was pretty good too, but it didn’t hold my attention as much as I’d hoped, which is why I have been reluctant to finish the series. I desperately want to know how it ends though, so I hope to pick up Ruin and Rising soon!

  • The Harry Potter series (reread 1-7) by J.K. Rowling

If you’ve been following my posts, you may know that I’m doing a reread of Harry Potter as “adult” starting next week. So naturally, The Harry Potter series should be on my list for 2022.

  • Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

Mostly just following the hype on this one. I loved the cover for this one and I love that LGBTQ+ books are getting more and more popular, so count me in. I was going to read this as a buddy read, starting last Sunday, but I decided I wasn’t really in the mood for this one yet, so I’m postponing it a little.

  • The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

The first book in this series was amazing. All over the place and very confusing, but amazing. I read it late last year and I’ve wanted to read on ever since, but the next two books are sold out everywhere. Let’s just hope they’ll be back in stock soon.

  • The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard

The opinions on this series are divided, but I personally kind of liked the first book, so I’m willing to give the rest of the series a shot. It’s 3 more books (4 total) and 3 novellas, so we’ll see how far we can get before the end of the year.. This series is definitely not my priority, though.

  • And Then there were None by Agatha Christie

2021 was the year I really started to get into Agatha Christie novels. I would really like to read more of them in the future, starting with 2022 of course. And Then There Were None is supposed to be THE best Agatha Christie novel, so that one just had to go on my 2022 TBR.

Do you have any books you’re really hoping to read in 2022? Or any New Year’s resolutions about your reading habits? Let me know in the comments!

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